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Welcome to the Blog.  When time allows we'll enjoy adding some stock market commentary.  This may also include some dividend news, ETF developments, etc.


 



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January 2014

Happy New Year.  All pages have been updated with performance data for 2013.
Look for possibly more funds added as we slop through 2013's hangover.
Good luck investing and be safe.



___________________________________________________________


Fall 2013
 

Welcome to "Fall".  Hopefully that won't mean a precipitous fall in the price of equities.  We are knee deep in doo doo of a Government shutdown and debt limit showdown.  If there is a ratings agency downgrade this month and/or if the paralysis continues, there could be an erasure of confidence in our markets.  Be careful. 

All pages are updated with new issues added to several pages.  The High Yield ETF page now includes some strategic funds with bond holdings.  Only those with a long/short or a floating senior debt structure were included.  Also some multi asset types were added. 

Happy Holloween and watch out for market goblins.
 _______________________________________________________________________


Summer 2013
July 3

Summer has arrived with the taste of some nice weather finally on the east coast.   Markets have had some scares since late May when Bernanke hinted that the easy money would someday end - (who knew!).  Traders thought it would last forever.  Long term investors know that occasionally there are disruptions in the market and often these periods can be used as buying opportunities.  Bond funds however will likely see erosion as the days of equity like returns are over.  There will now be competition for yield and dividend paying investments will see some volatility going forward.  Be careful out there!  

Have a safe and relaxing Summer - you can check out my occasional contribuitons
on Seeking Alpha.   Click on the SA button on top of page.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Spring 2013

Spring at last!  Now we're well out of the winter doldrums with the market up over 10%.  The best season for investing typically is the October to May period which has been studied countless times in many investing and finance circles.  For active investors, now may be the time to pocket some gains or reduce exposure.  We are due some sort of correction - but the more people look for this the more the market will frusturate those particpants.  Just something to think about.  

All pages are updated with 1st quarter returns (latest quarter return) data.  The java applet that had scrolling quotes for the most popular ETFs has been discontinued.   Pages should now load faster.  Those that want a quote for their favorite stock or fund can go to the "Chart and Quote" page. 

Til' next time please be safe and Happy Easter!

 


 January 2013

Happy New Year!  Hope 2012 was a fruitful and healthy year for you all.  2013 is now upon us as we all survived the endless drama of the fiscal cliff worries.   The drama will morph into the debt ceiling and more Congressional bickering over revenues and taxes.   Ugh, get used to it folks these problems and debates will go on for most of this year.   My gut tells me the market will ignore most of this and slowly march modestly higher for 2013.  Sometimes you have to ignore the media noise and look at the big picture of a slowly healing US economy.

All pages have been updated with 4th quarter ETF returns and 2012 total return data.  I will only seldom update the blog page as time is pressing for other matters.  You can follow my writings and latest comments on SeekingAlpha on a much more frequent basis.  Thanks for reading and be safe.



















 

 
September 22, 2012
 
Hope you all had a terrific summer. Just a quick update to what’s coming up later this month into early October.
 
The FocusShares and Russell ETF listings will be removed as they are now or soon will be defunct. Not enough interest and money flow to keep them profitable. Seems also the Russell had some conflicts with their Institutional clients and their Index based ETFs. Too bad - they had some intriguing and unique strategy based ETF products. I’m sure we’ll see some resurface in other ETF sponsors where they will license their Index.  
 
The market sure fooled everybody this summer by continually climbing that wall of worry and marching higher.  You can’t fight the FED. This will continue to work until it doesn’t. No one will be ready for the correction. Earnings slowdown coming for the end of the year may be the catalyst.
 
All the data for the different Dividend list pages will be updated at the end of September and early October.
 
In the meantime you can read my latest articles and meanderings on SeekingAlpha here.
Until next time, happy and safe investing.







July 2, 2012

We just updated all the list pages with the latest data as of the end of the 2nd quarter.  We hope the lists are useful and informative.  I want to mention a new dividend ETF, symbol SDOG, the ALPS Sector Dividend Dogs ETF.  This ETF takes an equal weight and sector weight to the old Dividend Dogs approach.   It's brand new as of June 29th and bears watching.  I like the methodology because you won't be overexposed in any one sector or holding.  Here is a link for more info.  

Keep an eye on the upcoming jobs data.  It's likely not going to be favorable to this weak - fickle stock market.  I also recently wrote a short article on the ISM data.  The ISM Manufacturing data came out today and it was weak and signaling economic contraction.  Not a great recipe for market gains as the European recession flu may have spread here to the U.S. 

I likely will not be updating the blog the next few months as I will be attempting to enjoy our Summertime.   Please be careful out there and good luck with all of your investing adventures.  It may very well get even more rocky as now we are on a full fledged recession watch.  

Have a great Summer and be safe. 




May 27, 2012
Mr. Market has Spoken:
Evidently the answer to my last blog in late April was answered rather decisively by Mr. Market. Yes, “Sell in May” appears to have been another prescient view this year. The Greek drama has resurfaced as the focal point for the Euro debt crisis that is blooming again in slow motion fashion as every word is parsed and pounced on by the markets.
Closer to home here in the U.S. and this blog site in particular - more income/dividend funds will be added to our list pages. Some notable new funds that will be added are listed by symbol first: GYLD Arrow Dow Jones Global Yield ETF, IYLD iShares Morningstar Multi Asset Income Index Fund, INKM SPDR SSgA Income Allocation ETF. Other notables for addition to the lists are two leveraged equity dividend ETFs. These are SDYL ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged S&P Dividend ETN and DVYL ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Dow Jones Select Dividend Index ETN. Considering investors hunger for yield, I would expect these last two leveraged ETN’s to become popular. I hope investors also consider the higher volatility and risks associated with them.
Lastly, another jobs report will be moving the markets for Friday June 1st. At different parts of an economic cycle investor’s psychology changes with assigned expectations and importance of these Employment reports. Everyone is seeking confirmation of an economic recovery now and solid job reports confirm that. Weak reports do not instill confidence in our recovery. Consensus for the May jobs number released Friday is 150,000. Friday also has the ISM Manufacturing survey data. The ISM’s monthly data are some of my favorite macro indicators for the economy. Remember above 50 is expansion, below 50 is contraction. Tuesday we have housing HPI index and Consumer Confidence data. The data Thursday includes GDP and the ADP report. The ADP report has some positive correlation to the Friday Employment report, so it can often give clues to that report.
Please pause and reflect this Memorial Day for those that served in our Military and gave our country the ultimate sacrifice.
Good luck investing and be safe till next time.




 













 

April 29, 2012
Do we sell in May and go away?  
 
The data coming out this week “may” help clarify economic and market outlooks going forward.   There is a ton a economic data this week that the market will have to digest.
Monday we will have Inflation data, Chicago PMI and the Dallas Fed Survey. 
Tuesday will bring Motor Vehicle Sales, ISM Manufacturing Index and Construction Spending. 
Wednesday we have the Challenger Job Cut Report and the ADP report. 
Thursday we have the Weekly Jobless claims and the ISM Non – Manufacturing Index. The Wednesday reports can often give clues to the ……
Friday Jobs report which was weak last month and its data point coming out Friday morning could be a major market mover.  
The ISM data could potentially move the market as well. 
 

Until next time - Be safe with health and wealth to all. 



 




April 7, 2012

Likely a Rough Week Coming for Investors

Sky's the Limit for Number of Dividend ETFs
 
"I was blue, just as blue as I could be
Ev'ry day was a cloudy day for me
Then good luck came a-knocking at my door
Skies were gray but they're not gray anymore

Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see"
   -Irving Berlin as performed by Willie Nelson
 
More Blue skies even as the market appears to be digesting its recent gains, we've been adding some more funds to our "to do" lists for updating at the end of the first quarter (March). Currently there is about five new funds to be added as of this writing.
Included are two more dividend ETF's with an International bent from iShares ; the "DVYE" - iShares Emerging Markets Dividend Index Fund and the iShares "DVYA" - Asia/ Pacific Dividend 30 Index Fund. Russell adds to the fray with two dividend ETF's with "HDIV" - Russell High Dividend Yield ETF and "DIVS" - Russell Small Cap High Dividend Yield ETF. The former Russell dividend focused fund holds Large Caps, and the latter holds Small Caps (hence the name).

That brings a total of equity oriented Dividend Focused ETF's to around 47. Phew! With baby boomers retiring in droves in the years to come I would expect many of these funds will do okay. But, I'm not so sure that all 47 + will survive as there is just so much AUM (assets under management)that these funds can gather. We'll see in the months and years to come.

Another new fund to be added later this month to the High Yield List is the "YMLP" - Yorkville High Income MLP ETF. This ETF structured fund seeks to track the performance of the "Solactive High Income MLP Index". I expect these other alternative High Yield types of funds to also do well for investors in the coming years, for the same demographic reasons as mentioned above. It is essential that you read the prospectus of these funds as high yield investing can be risky and there is also the little matter of various MLP ETN/ETF tax considerations.

These new funds mentioned above  - albeit with their limited history, will be added during the update to all of the lists. As per usual, we will list the data that most visitors and investors are looking for in our handy "at a glance" table format. Furthermore, we always conveniently have the symbol linked directly to either the funds fact-sheet or it's respective fund company's web-page for further research and due diligence.

Lastly, I hope many of you have seen some of my writings on SeekingAlpha. I have broad interests when it comes to investing and I hope you visit and check them out. I hope you find them informative and enlightening.
 
Until next time, safety, good health and wealth to all.
P.S. Don't forget your umbrellas.






 






 


 
March 20, 2012

Hellos again, hope you all are well.
As most of you loyal visitors know the data tables have all been updated with the 1st quarter 2012 performance (“most recent quarter”)and trailing 12 month yields, market cap, etc. We also added a several more funds as promised in the last blog post. We may later add corporate bond ETFs to the “High Yield” page.

Comprehensive bond data pages is arguably not the focus of this website and entering corporate bonds to the site mix gets the focus into grey areas. But as baby boomers seek yield they will need alternatives to treasury funds in the years to come. The more viable options for income, yield, and diversification, the better. Rates are rock bottom and bond prices have really nowhere to go but down in the long term. The Bond bull can not last forever. Couple all this with future tax law changes regarding dividends makes for uncertain times for all asset classes going forward. Investors must stay on top of their portfolio allocations, investing objectives, and goals, etc.

Speaking of bond bulls the market this coming week will still provide some scary episodes where investors will again scurry to safety and send bond yields down and prices up. Friday’s negative employment report will likely provide the potential catalyst for the long awaited correction that everyone on Wall Street is seeking. The only bright spot is because this report was released on a closed trading day (equities) as this may dampen knee jerk reactions. Traders and investors will have the long Easter weekend to digest the employment report and other worldly macro events (Euro and China) before Monday. This macro climate will likely not help - as risks abound. It’s very likely going to be a rough week.

Until next time, be safe and don’t let small losses turn into large losses. To mitigate risk, I have been long VQT and XVZ. You can read about those two funds in my article at SeekingAlpha.

Always read the prospectus for any Exchange Traded product.





 




 


March 3, 2012

I looked at the calendar and while wondering where February went, reminded myself its time update the blog and share some market thoughts that have my attention. Recently there has been lots of attention to the impending threats of tax increases to capital gains and dividend investments. Nobody knows how this will play out, but if the increases are implemented you will see turbulence in dividend paying stocks and funds well before the legislation takes place, as the market will discount and reflect the tax increases in short order. I expect companies could change their dividend policies and possibly hold onto cash and find other creative reinvestment alternatives. Whatever happens or does not happen, if the market over reacts and adjusts to a proposal that’s ultimately defeated, the turbulence will provide nice entry price point for opportunities for the long term investor. Here’s a link to a recent
WSJ article which is a must read.

The market has been continuing its upward “March” with nary a correction in sight. Lately, the action seems to be tighter and tighter with smaller and smaller moves. The market mirrors its reluctantance as investors nervously put money in the market and hope for the best.
The bullish pundits are out in full force such as Laszlo Birinyi calling for S and P 500 going to 1700 in 2012. That’s a 35% gain. No too shabby. But “what if” things go awry? You have to manage your investments accordingly. For myself, I scale out of positions when the S & P RSI goes below 45. I will get back in when things stabilize with RSI at 55. This mitigates some of the whipsaws. Ultimately, I would be out of the market if things go to a full fledged correction, like last year’s 2011’s swoon. Not every method is perfect but following the trend can be a portfolio “saver”.

We trust you checked out the new
High Yield ETF page which is chock full of ideas for income/dividend products.  Some of these are relatively new and the prospectus for any fund or investment should dutifully be read.   Also, there may be tax consequences for some of these investments as well.  Examine how a fund trades, its liquidity, etc.  Use limit orders. 
More useful content will be fortcoming in the weeks and months ahead. 

Hope this post finds you well as we collect more dividends as the trend meanders along.
Good luck, be safe - until next time.




February 17, 2012

Market Update

As I write this the Dow finished up yesterday over 100pts. and temporarily at least, the market is providing a quick sigh of relief for a smattering of okay economic data.  Slightly better than expected data in Weekly Jobs claims and better housing sector data are providing a lift to equities. Everybody is waiting for the "correction" to commence but the market is doing its best to frustrate the most participants by not cooperating, just yet.

The Real Estate related sectors are for the time being providing some stability in all of this uncertainty the last few weeks, with REIT ETFs having providing some outperformance over the broad markets S & P 500. This is likely seasonal, as springtime’s Real Estate market is just around the corner if not here already here in most parts of the US. You can compare REIT ETFs here on the aptly named REIT ETF page.

The Dividend and Utility ETFs are underperforming so far this year as riskier assets are gaining favor. How long that lasts is anybody's guess but generally in a flat to down mark they will shine. A strong (so far) bull market -  like we've had so far in 2012 has affected the safe equity classes as they have underperformed.  Bonds however have proved to be resilient as that asset class could be smelling future trouble.

We trust the new REIT and Utility list pages are providing our visitors some handy insight for some quick comparisons; all "at a glance". As on all of the list pages, you can click on any of the symbols in the tables and that link will bring you directly to the fund company's fact sheet or information page for that ETF. More list type pages will be forthcoming in the weeks and months ahead. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. The list format can be a very handy tool when beginning research into prospective ETFs, and like me - you may not want to "hunt and peck” for pertinent data, especially while comparing many different funds.

Until next time, health wealth and be safe.




Quick Market Notes and website expansion
2/3/2012 11:00:46 AM
Hello dividend ETF seekers. We've been busy expanding our content with more pages with dividend yielding ETF ideas. More to come in the weeks ahead.

As I write this, the market is zooming up on the better than expected & quite healthy monthly jobs report. It appears the "market meltup" may accelerate to an out and out shorts burning rally. Will it last after earnings season ? Eventually we will have some sort of pullback and we may accumulate some funds on any weakness.

Til then, enjoy the ride and be careful out there.

 




March 3, 2012
 
I looked at the calendar and while wondering where February went, reminded myself its time update the blog and share some market thoughts that have my attention. Recently there has been lots of attention to the impending threats of tax increases to capital gains and dividend investments. Nobody knows how this will play out but if the increases are implemented you will see turbulence in dividend paying stocks and funds well before the legislation takes place, as the market will discount and reflect the tax increases in short order. I expect companies could change their dividend policies and possibly hold onto cash and find other creative reinvestment alternatives. Whatever happens or does not happen if the market over reacts and adjusts to a proposal that’s ultimately defeated, the turbulence will provide nice entry price point opportunities for the long term investor. Here’s a link to a recent WSJ article which is a must read. 

 

The market has been continuing its upward “March” with nary a correction in sight. Lately, the action seems to be tighter and tighter with smaller and smaller moves. The market mirrors its reluctantance as investors nervously put money in the market and hope for the best.
 The bullish pundits are out in full force such as Laszlo Birinyi calling for S and P 500 going to 1700 in 2012. That’s a 35% gain. No too shabby. But “what if” things go awry? You have to manage your investments accordingly. For myself, I scale out of positions when the S & P RSI goes below 45. I will get back in when things stabilize with RSI at 55. This mitigates some of the whipsaws. Ultimately, I would be out of the market if things go to a full fledged correction, like last year’s 2011’s swoon. Not every method is perfect but following the trend can be a portfolio “saver”.  

We hope our visitors have checked ou the new High Yield page of  ETP (Exchange Traded Product) list of ideas for dividends/income.   Some of these investments may have certain tax consequences.  Always read the prospectus for any investment.  Observe its liquidity, how it trades to NAV, etc.  The lightly traded funds will likely have large bid/ask spreads.  Use limit orders.   Look for more useful content coming soon in the weeks ahead.   I will post to this blog as time allows and/or events warrant. 
 
Hope this post finds you well as we collect more dividends as this upward trend meanders along.
Good luck, be safe  - until next time.

 

 


 
Buying Opportunity Coming?
1/15/2012 9:17:28 AM
Buying Opportunity Coming?
January 15, 2012
Hope this post finds you well. It’s been a short while since any entries have been made as things are quite busy with life’s most important task, namely family and of course, work obligations. We have not updated the market barometer prognostications as the U.S. Stock market as defined by our favorite proxy, the S&P 500 has been essentially chopping up and then chopping down in a relatively small range between 1160 and 129X or so. We now though as of a week ago hold our nose and will buy any large dip coming our way. Employment numbers are still weak but are in a stodgy slow up trend. Other macro-indicators are slowly improving as well. Volume is still quite low and conviction is suspect, so we are very careful and remain nimble. Earnings are not impressive so far and as more financial sector giants report this week we will monitor the market reaction.
One ETF the WisdomTree DTN has been a strong performer as defined by its price action and healthy relative strength. The DTN has no financial sector holdings to drag it down, and it shows. Many of the Dividend Focused ETFs we follow on our comprehensive list have had very weak relative strength. Check this sites charts page to get a quick view and compare, adjust timeframe, and tweak to glean other price action aspects.
We expect the European crisis to pick up steam as S&P credit agency helps set the fuse with multiple downgrades across the continent. Most of this appeared to be priced in but this long weekend will provide some ample time for further digestion. This may provide another entry point for some of the better behaving funds - but be very careful and nimble with this market. It is indeed different this time.
Health, wealth and happiness til next time.

 

2011 Top 10 Dividend Focused ETFs
1/2/2012 3:45:57 PM
Hope all of you had a terrific Holiday Season. We wanted to update some information and discuss last year’s 2011 winners for the Dividend Focused ETFs. The following table has the top 10 Dividend Focused ETFs ranked by total return. The top fund was the First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders Fund FDL with a commanding 13.7% total return. We round out the top three with runner-up; the WisdomTree Equity Income Fund DHS with a 13.3% gain, followed closely by another WisdomTree offering, the WisdomTree ex-Financials Fund DTN. The WT DTN funds nice gain was not surprising considering all the financial drama surrounding Europe and of course the U.S. the last few years. This fund totally sidesteps all financial stocks thereby clawing out a strategic advantage by sector composition. 2011’s winner; FDL, First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders Fund, is based on the Morningstar® Dividend LeadersSM Index. This is a proprietary index tabulated from a quant Morningstar screening process with selected stocks based on dividend yield and other proprietary metrics. It is rebalanced four times a year. When the Financial sector stocks come back into favor, we fully expect some other Dividend focused ETF methodologies that favor those metrics to have very favorable results, and likewise their corresponding Dividend focused ETF’s. We’re afraid it just may take awhile though, and expect the financial sector to come under more pressure in 2012 as well. The ETFs we follow on this blogsite that have considerable financial sector exposure will follow suit, and likely have a less than fruitful year. I hope we are wrong but we will follow this closely as the New Years' events unfold.
Symbol
2011 Top 10 Dividend Focused ETFs
% Tot. Return for 2011
FDL
First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders Index Fund
13.7
DHS
WisdomTree Equity Income Fund
13.3
DTN
WisdomTree Dividend ex-Financials Fund
12
DVY
iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Index ETF
11.1
VYM
Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF
9.9
DLN
WisdomTree LargeCap Dividend Fund
8.7
PFM
PowerShares ETF Trust Dividend Achievers Portfolio
8.3
FVD
First Trust Value Line Dividend Index Fund ETF
8
DTD
WisdomTree Total Dividend Fund
7.65
PEY
PowerShares High Yield Equity Dividend Achievers Portfolio
7.4
 

 

-My Top 10 Market Themes for 2012-
Hope you all had a wonderful Holiday time. I’ve dusted off the crystal ball and have come up with some mystical prognostications. Everybody is a pundit these days and today it’s my turn to weigh in for some 2012 market thoughts. Here they are, all in almost wish list looking format, with tongue planted firmly in cheek. In no particular order:
1. Dividend ETFs and the underlying stocks they represent will continue to do well in 2012. With interest rates at rock bottom levels for the foreseeable future, investors may seek the yield, safety and some diversification of Dividend ETFs.
2. Europe will slowly and methodically sink into a mild recession as member countries have the dubious two edged sword of tightening budgets and slow growth. Can’t have economic expansions with budget cuts and fiscal austerity.
3. The U.S. Stock Market will start the year with a neat 5% haircut in the 1st half of the year due to the European debt crisis, followed by typical election year promises of earmarks for everybody. Market will respond with thunderous applause. S&P will be up a whopping 7% this year to around the 1350 ish level.
4. Gold will continue to correct to the $1450 level then reignite to over $1800.
5. U.S. Trsy Bonds will continue to be the safe haven for the world’s turbulence and corresponding rates will remain low. No surprise here.
6. U.S. Banks and Financials will slowly heal their balance sheets and have a much better year than 2011. Financial sector will outperform and be up over 10%.
7. Volatility- VIX Futures market will continue to be in contango and the VIX will drift down as the market climbs walls of worry. Maybe in mid teens by election time for the VIX.
8. China’s state run economy will out maneuver a recession and have a soft landing. Much easier when you can “manage” the economic data and populace.
9. Small caps will slightly outpace the large caps as cheaper money will finally loosen up for smaller companies.

Lastly, Oil will drop to around $90 a barrel with the early 2012 market swoon. It will then gain traction with the strengthening U.S. economy.... and recovers to perhaps around $110 max.

Hope you have all have a prosperous, safe and joyous New Year.
P.S. The home page list will updated in the next few days with the latest total return, yield and other data as needed.
 

SDY SPDR Dividend News & Market Commentary
12/10/2011 7:30:42 AM
The SPDR SDY S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Dividend ETF will be changing some holdings to better reflect the tracking Index for that “Dividend Aristocrats” methodology. Some of the additions include, ITW –Illinois Tool Works, NUE- Nucor, MDT- Medtronic and SYY- Sysco.
This methodology reflects holdings that consistently grow dividends over 25 consecutive years. According to SPDR this approach has characteristics of both dividend income and capital growth. This method does not merely emphasize yield. This in my opinion, results in one of the better dividend ETFs - judging from the superior performance to some of the other methodologies that may stress yield over quality, and consistency. You can compare how this one ETF product - SDY - has done from viewing our homepage. Also, check out the charts page too. Keep in mind the charts do not reflect dividend reinvestment.
The market finished up strong and eeked out about a 1 percent gain for the week, reflecting some new found confidence in the latest chapter in the European credit crisis. Seems the meetings have yielded some “agreements” for future budgetary and fiscal alignment guidelines for member countries with penalties for non-compliance. Details and timelines with other member countries still have to be hammered out. We are very cautious at this juncture, but realize the market may continue to melt up and climb this wall of worry. Volatility and quick market turns with Europe as the focus will continue. Careful investing and be safe.
 
 

Updated Market Commentary and Dividend News
12/5/2011 7:47:58 PM
As of December 2, our market barometer has been on an accumulate or buy signal. But - in the fundamental context this has been a very difficult "buy" trigger to pull.
Europe is facing its most important financial week in decades. They have shown the world their prevalence of squandering every opportunity to address it's serious debt issue. Things won't get better by habitually kicking the can down the road. The deadline is December 9th for an agreement and a "plan" for the 17 EU members. The rating agency S&P is trying to goose them a bit with a threat for a downgrade of 15 of the 17 member nations.
Tough environment to invest with this debt drama overhang and the potential for bank blowups. We feel they will come to their senses and have some sort of plan by week’s end. But ya' never know, and that's why we are cautious and remain partially on the sidelines. We'll wait this one out.
Upcoming dividend dates:
Ex-Date Record Date Payable Date
All WisdomTree Equity ETFs 12/21/11 12/23/11 12/28/11
 
 

Why Dividends Matter - Again
12/1/2011 8:07:01 PM
Most investors know that dividends matter; but a short reminder once in a while can be a valuable refresher. Many Wall Street firms as of late are predicting a flat and/or choppy returns in the years ahead. Dividends provide a safety cushion in volatile markets and contribute to the overall total return to our investment. In one long term view, according to a study by S&P - dividend investments outperformed non-dividend investments by about 1.9% annually from 1980 to the early 2000's.
David Dreman of Forbes also points out in a larger study he collaborated on, that from 1970 to the same period, that the top yielders from a broad universe of stocks outperformed the lower yielding stocks by about 4% total return annually.
There are tons of similar studies and data available that generally have these similar findings. Dividends do in fact matter.
Fast forward to the late 2008 to early 2009 financial crisis and the massive carnage inflicted on especially the financial sector is still emblazoned in our memories. Tremendous damage was done in the form of firms blowing up, being bought out at bargain prices, etc. The Dividend focused ETFs albeit damaged with heavy losses, have some built in portfolio diversification. Some more than others of course, but you can see from the returns from the homepage data, what ETF funds had evidently too much exposure to the financial sector during that nightmarish period. But, in retrospect an ETF portfolio still provided some diversification, and investors did NOT lose most of their entire investment versus holding an individual financial stock during that period.
As the healing process continues in the years ahead, we feel many investors will seek diversification and some dividend yield. Both of which a Dividend focused ETF could provide. A flat or volatile market (with continued low interest rates) may be a desirable environment for these Dividend focused ETFs.
Be safe and warm wishes as we enter December and the rest of the Holiday Season.
Note: The ticker symbol on all of the funds listed on homepage - provides a link to either the sponsor's factsheet or website.
 

What Index for a Dividend Focused ETF has the longest history?
11/29/2011 7:00:04 PM
It's easy to examine the home page of the Dividend ETF list and look up the inception dates for each fund (ETF market trading debut date). It's another matter to dig a bit deeper and examine the actual index an ETF may be based on.
Much of the older Dividend focused Exchange Traded Funds are based on indexes developed by the folks at Mergent. Mergent has been around since 1900 and is involved in collecting/distributing large amounts of financial data and also markets index related products thru its subsidiary, Indxis. Here are some Dividend ETF's that are based on indexes from this vast database and methodology from Mergent.

They are:
PFM Powershares Dividend Achievers Portfolio
PID Powershares International Dividend Achievers Portfolio
PEY Powershares High Yield Equity Dividend Achievers Portfolio
VIG Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF
BlackRock markets three Mergent based portfolios, but they are Closed End Funds. Not ETF's. Very different animals.
Two notable funds that also have significant history are the popular DVY iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Index Fund (2003) and First Trust's FVD Value Line Dividend Index Fund (2003).
According to the previously mentioned Mergent owned Indxis, the Dividend Achievers history has been around since 1979. That makes the Dividend Achievers the oldest index data-set for a proprietary dividend equity focused index.

Be safe and careful investing.
 

Shades of 2008? Financials Sector Exposure for popular Dividend ETF's
11/24/2011 7:33:55 AM
 
Shades of 2008? Financial Portfolio Weightings for popular Dividend ETF's
As the market continues to deteriorate, I wanted to examine the Dividend Focused ETF List in regards to their financial sector exposure. This listing is for some popular Dividend ETF funds (by market cap) and their percentage portfolio exposure to the financial sector. As we know the financial sector is an extremely broad swath of companies. This post gives us a quick view of the exposure to financials (U.S and International) as that sector is getting thrashed lately in today's market. If there is a European market inspired meltdown; the financial sector should lead it down. Obviously the less financial sector exposure these Dividend ETF's have, the better they could hold up in the ensuing melee. The two ETF's by WisdomTree; DOO - WT International Dividend ex-Financials and it's domestic counterpart, DTN WT US Dividend ex-Financials, have NO fincaial sector exposure. We could presume they could hold up well. Happy Thanksgiving and be safe.
Ticker % of Portfolio in Financial Sector
DVY..................8.4%
VIG..................6.3%
SDY...............16.84%
DWM..............21.5%
DLN.................7.34%
DLS................15.82%
VYM..................5.1%
PID.................10%
DOO..................0%
FVD..................1.42%
DHS................12.3%
HDV..................1.29%
DTN...................0%

 
Capital Preservation
11/24/2011 7:31:09 AM
 
November 21, 2011
"Rule Number 1: Never lose money. Rule Number 2: Don't forget rule Number 1."
-Warren Buffet
As I write this blog post the market finished down about 250 points. Shades of the 2008 financial collapse abound. Parts of Europe are close to defaulting. The U.S. "Supercommitte" failed to agree on any cuts, for now. Headline after headline the news seems to get more moribund.
The essential thing that I want to stress here for my first post is capital preservation. Buy and hold just doesn't work anymore in this worldwide volatile economic climate. Invest in an uptrend and get out in a downtrend before losses turn into devastating losses. This may sound kind of strange coming from a Dividend Exchange Traded Fund Investment orientated website/blog-site. But just ask any long term shareholder of say.... Bank of America (BAC). Their dividends got suspended in the 2008 crisis, then the real portfolio devastation ensued. Quite simply, in Technical Analysis terms, I sell or reduce my holdings when the RSI (Relative Strength Index) falls below 45 at end of trading day. No exceptions. I then get back in when the RSI goes above 55. This plainly simple method keeps you in the market during Bull markets, and gets you out before Bear markets and financial meltdowns. It's similar to the 5-10-20 timer system, only even simpler. There are other methods such as the "Golden Cross" and the 200 day moving average, etc. To reiterate; this is not a technical trading or market timing website or blog; I just want to emphasize that most times cash and capital preservation is better than "market hope" and dividends - at devastatingly lower stock/ETF fund prices. You may sleep better too.
Disclosure: Reduced equity ETF funds, Increased cash/cash equivalent positions.
 
 



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